This book had a couple of good things going for it right off the top. One of its biggest positives was its premise. Guin, our heroine, has accompanied her sister to a foreign land to marry the Duke. She’s not all that excited about being her sister’s companion –and she cares nothing for titles and nobility– but she can’t wait to explore the old castle and learn its rich history. Guin wants to be a writer, and what better inspiration? It only gets better when she starts hearing rumors of a ghost and hints that the stories may be true.
Kasimir seems to be a prisoner in the crumbling portions of the keep. But Guin’s not really sure how real he is or how much he is a figment of her imagination. She starts to question, too, whether her sister’s new family is out to get her and why they seem to be pushing her out of the Duchess’s life. Eventually, Guin’s not sure what to believe about anything, but she knows she can’t let go of the beautiful tortured man who haunts her dreams.
So yeah, I was down with all of that. The feel was like one of those old gothic romance novels. It’s dark and you’re not sure sometimes whether there are supernatural elements at play or if there are more mundane explanations. I liked Guin, her simplicity and her lack of artifice. And I liked the idea of her with Kasamir. But I had some issues too.
The first half of this book drew me in completely, but it faltered in the second half. While I liked the dreamy quality of Guin and Kasamir’s early interactions, I found myself nearly uninvested once that went away. I wanted more of the prisoner Kasamir and Guin as his salvation. I was totally underwhelmed by the villains. And worst of all, why the Duke’s family was setting up Guin from the very beginning. I get why they were all against Kasamir, but why didn’t they just kill him from the beginning? And why all of their other dark behavior? That part was kind of weak.
And then there was the supernatural element. It just fizzled for me. And its resolution felt trite.
So I walked away with mixed feelings. It had some good moments, but also some issues I couldn’t quite overcome.
*ARC provided by blog tour
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Prisoner of Silverwood Castle
by Marie Treanor
Release Date: August 16, 2016